The Tapang tree, also known as the ‘umbrella’ tree due to its peculiar shape, provides shelter from the elements. M’Lop means shade or protection in the Khmer language.
Given its unique and protective qualities, it was natural for several homeless children in Sihanoukville to seek refuge at night under a large Tapang tree on the beach. These children became the first friends of M’Lop Tapang.
M’Lop Tapang was created with the goal of giving street children access to the learning tools, resources, and opportunities they needed to empower themselves and become productive members of society. Since then, we have achieved this by offering regular meals, shelter, medical care, education, counselling, and protection from all types of abuse.
M’Lop Tapang strives to provide a safe haven for all of the street living and street working children of Sihanoukville, with the ultimate goal of reintegrating them into their families and community. We believe that to reintegrate a child into a secure family environment is fundamental to their development and well-being. For this reason, M’Lop Tapang partners up with families to address the root problems that led these children to the streets in the first place. M’Lop Tapang is convinced that every child who has regained a sense of self-respect and returned to live with his or her family acts as an example to many others in the community.
M’Lop Tapang firmly believes that the entire Sihanoukville community benefits from supporting the development and protection of its street children. The active participation and support of local businesses and private individuals proves the community agrees! Our long-term goal is to become a program run entirely by the community, for the community.